For many generations, the business world, which includes Wall Street, has been networking its corporate elite and others in order to drive sales and build a successful business. Networking is synonymous with a successful business. All the businessmen and businesswomen at the corporate level, including business and investment bankers achieve success through networking. Of course, in order to close a deal, they need to have the knowledge, expertise and the right information to complete that business transaction and call it a slam dunk of a deal.
Put yourself in the shoes of that businessman, businesswoman or banker. Now, call yourself a savvy financial consumer instead. Or, would you rather just call yourself a financial consumer? You decide. What’s the difference? A savvy financial consumer runs the show just like the knowledgeable businessman. Ever here of the saying, “ Oh, he’s a smart businessman.” Being a savvy consumer is about using money wisely, being informed and ultimately making a well-informed financial decision. In this tough economy, most of us are trying to squeeze as much value as possible out of every dollar and no one can afford to loose money. The savvy financial consumer creates a budget and best prepares himself or herself with knowledge and educational resources to tackle life’s financial objective.
Ok, so we figured out that to be a savvy financial consumer, one needs to be budget conscious and informed in order to make an educated decision. If you are still in that businessperson’s shoes, you are probably asking yourself what this all means or where does networking fit?
Let’s first talk about the economy. When you look at the state of many of the economies around the world, it’s a mystery why financial education is not required in schools. Yes, it’s not required. It is easy to blame banks, business or governments for our current economic condition but the fact is that the education of individuals is what needs to be addressed. Some argue that a better way to teach children about money is in the home, which may have its qualities but may create something of a cyclone out of control: when parents are themselves, financially challenged. What’s the government’s role in teaching financial education? From my experience in researching financial education and the resources that can help individuals and families better prepare themselves to make that slam dunk of a deal, the government and some private businesses are going to bat for you.
Throughout my financial quest in search of answers to everyday personal finance questions, I came to realize that there is way too much information out there! Information overload! The World Wide Web is amassed with hundreds of sites devoted to helping the individual consumer gain the knowledge needed to make that educated decision. Where do you start? I’ll address that in a short while.
Our government is heavily involved in promoting financial education. They are doing all they can to get you the right information. From the F.D.I.C MoneySmart Program to the National Financial Capability Challenge, the feds want you to have access to some great articles and programs devoted to your development and advancement.
The private industry is also contributing in many ways. Visa and the NFL have partnered to bring numerous projects devoted to making financial education and development a focal point and part of everyday conversations. But, who knows about all this? Let me ask you a question. Have you heard of Visa collaborating with the NFL or the National Financial Capability Challenge? My guess is that not everyone is in tune with the resources out there to assist an individual or family make wiser decisions.
Are we left alone to decide our own fate? No, but we must be smart businessmen and businesswomen when it comes to closing the deal. The only way we are going to slam dunk a deal that is in our favor is if we are in control. Remember, the savvy financial consumer runs the show just like a smart businessman! With regards to networking, you have to go out there and explore the many options at your disposal. Don’t close the deal without first exploring the many options you have. It’s all about choices. Once you have decided, make sure that you are comfortable with the decision that you are about to make. The only way to be comfortable is knowing almost everything there is to your financial objective.